Simon Perry and Agnes Poirier have been appointed as UK scouts for the Cannes Film Festival. The hirings were confirmed earlier this week by Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux during a short visit to London where he screened possible festival films and met leading industry figures.

The pair is expectedto maintain year-round relations with the British industry on behalf of the festivaland pre-select features and shorts for its official sections. Theirappointments in the UK take immediate effect.

Perry, a former producer of such films as Nineteen Eighty Four and White Mischief, is perhaps best known in his previous role as chief executive of public-private fund British Screen Finance. Since the time that British Screen was folded into the UK's public super-body, theFilm Council, in late 2000, he has acted as consultant to a number of festivalsand film schools.

Poirier also has several strings to her bow including filmmaking, script consulting and film journalism. She is the UK correspondent for Le Film Francais, the film trade paper that, like Screen International, is ownedby EMAP.

For all that Cannes seeks to be demanding and selective, Fremaux is understood to want Cannes to work in close proximity with filmmakers. He is a frequent traveller and in the UKand other countries has sought to appoint "correspondents", or scouts, who live in the country they are advising on.

In October, Fremaux hired Der Tagesspiegel journalist Christiane Peitz for a similar role in Germany.